Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Study Guide
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Accommodation Options for Exchange Students

Helsinki Metropolitan area is a fun place to live in, but finding suitable accommodation in the capital region can be challenging.

There is a lot of competition in affordable housing, so it is important to start searching for a room many months prior to arrival. Look into the different options and make sure that you have reserved accommodation for your whole exchange period before you arrive.

Please read more below about different options suitable for exchange students.


Most of Metropolia exchange students live in apartments owned by HOAS, a non-profit Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region. A limited number of furnished apartments has been reserved for the incoming exchange students.

HOAS is an easy, safe and affordable option. The tenancy agreements for exchange students are made for full semesters (see Academic Calendar), regardless of the length of your exchange. The rent in all HOAS locations includes basic furniture, water, heating, electricity and Internet. All housing areas have shops, public transportation and other services nearby.

Applying for a HOAS room

The application periods for exchange student housing are:

Autumn semester and academic year:

  • 1 April - 5 May

Spring semester:

  • 1 October - 5 November

Please apply as soon as the application period starts! Because HOAS cannot accommodate all the students of the region, applying by the deadline does not guarantee that you will get a room.

In the autumn semester, rooms of the Metropolia quota are offered in the arriving order of the applications in two categories: first to students arriving for full academic year, and then to rest of the applicants for full autumn semester for as long as there are places available. In the spring semester the rooms are offered in the arriving order of the applications for full spring semester only.

On the HOAS application form for exchange students, you need to select the correct campus of Metropolia: please see our campus list.

Accommodation options at HOAS

There are four furnished room types that HOAS offers for exchange students: room in a shared apartment, shared room in a shared apartment*, studio apartment and shared studio apartment*. See the details and prices on the HOAS website.

* These options with a shared bedroom are only possible for couples and friends who know each other, because they provide very limited privacy. Please note that you will not be able to change the apartment or roommate after signing the tenancy agreement. When applying for a shared studio or a shared room in a shared apartment, both tenants must write on their application whom they want to share the room with.



Accepting HOAS Reservation and Receiving Keys

Once HOAS has found you a room they will send you a housing reservation by e-mail. Check your e-mail on a regular basis - also junk mail / spam mailbox, just in case. Most of the HOAS housing reservations are sent out during June/November, so if you have not received a housing reservation e-mail by July/early December, be sure to apply for other accommodation options.

When you receive a housing offer, accept it as soon as possible. If you do not accept it by the deadline mentioned on the offer, the housing will be offered to someone else. You will not get a second offer. If you need more response time, please contact HOAS. If you didn't get the kind of housing or location you wished for, it means that your first choice was no longer available. It is common in Finland to live further away from the campus, and the public transportation system is excellent. Use the Journey Planner to check connections.

Read carefully the detailed instructions on the HOAS website for exchange students. Please note especially that a signed housing reservation is a valid tenancy agreement which cannot be cancelled or edited afterwards. The agreement will be made only for full semesters.

Receiving the HOAS keys:

Metropolia's Student Union METKA will pick up all HOAS keys for our exchange students right after the keys are released. You will get your HOAS keys either from your tutor upon arrival, or at the METKA office - not at the HOAS office!

However, there are two different move-in dates to the exchange student rooms.

1. Most HOAS locations allow exchange students to move in on 1 August.
• If you have a student tutor and arrive in Finland after 1 August -> your tutor will bring your HOAS keys to you upon arrival.
• If you do not want a tutor -> collect your HOAS keys yourself at the METKA office from 1 August onwards. METKA office is open during weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Address: Bulevardi 31, Helsinki; phone number: +358 50 350 1603.

2. The exceptional locations "Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 29" and "Linnoituksentie 10" allow exchange students to move in on 1 September
• Collect your HOAS keys yourself at the METKA office on 1 September (contact details above) in the afternoon.
• Please arrange other housing for the first week(s): see e.g. the Hostelling International Finland or the Visit Helsinki website.

Plan your arrival according to the timing of your orientation at Metropolia.

2. Companies that provide temporary housing

3. Private market

You can also search for accommodation on the private market. However, it might be very difficult to find affordable furnished accommodation for a short period of time. In the Helsinki Metropolitan area there are relatively few rental apartments available and the rents are high (appr. 600-800 euros/month/studio) even if you live outside the city centre of Helsinki - furniture, water, electricity and Internet connection are not included in the rent either. The biggest demand for affordable housing is at the beginning of each semester, so start looking months in advance.

Be cautious in accepting a rental apartment from a private owner without seeing it though – there are scams and fake advertisements in the market.

Please note that the International Office at Helsinki Metropolia UAS cannot offer any assistance in finding accommodation from the private market.

4. Hostels

If you need a hostel for your first days in Finland, see Hostelling International Finland or check the Visit Helsinki website.

You can also try Couch-surfing, a volunteer-based network for short-term accommodation.


Last update 20 April 2017